The 4th of July weekend is a BIG DEAL in my hometown... Pekin, Indiana is the site of the OLDEST CONSECUTIVE FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION IN THE UNITED STATES! Now, there are older celebrations but the word CONSECUTIVE is what makes our celebration stand out. This year will be the 179th such celebration. Personally, this will be my 49th celebration - I have only missed ONE in my life... one of my favorite pictures is of me sitting on the front porch of our home when we lived on Main Street in town... I was 6 months old watching my first parade!!!
So this weekend out daughter who lives out of town will arrive with her family on Friday and will leave on Sunday. We will meet our other daughter and her family on Friday evening for the fireworks, which we will watch from a local church. Then on Saturday, Carly and I will go and stake out our viewing spot for the parade (which we will all watch together in the SAME SPOT AS ALWAYS!). After a visit to the park for a walk through the rides and booths, and much visiting with people you ONLY see once a year on the 4th, we will head back to the house where we will prepare for our annual cook-out. Our "extended family", comprised of church friend, will arrive at 4 and the swimming (if it doesn't rain!), cornhole (ditto on the rain!) and SCRABBLE will begin.
The day will be filled with tons of food, loads of laughter, and the giggles of little children... it will be a GOOD DAY!!! And in the midst of all that fun, I hope that we remember to give thanks for those who have made this day possible for us... those men and women who have given of their time, and many their lives, to keep America free. The song GOD BLESS AMERICA will be sung in many venues over this holiday weekend... but I believe that He has ALREADY blessed America... and that, as a nation, we have taken that blessing for granted. Remember to be in prayer for our country and its leaders... and especially for the next generation of leaders... that they will KNOW GOD... and follow his ways... so that American can remain FREE!!!!